Are you being the best client that you can be? Are you building and nurturing good relationships with the people in your creative agency? Probably not. Here are some simple and effective tips to get the most from your agency:
- Brief us properly. You know your business better than we ever will - share your knowledge with us early in the process. The more information you give us, the better, even if it seems trivial – it may spark unique ideas. A thorough brief leads to thorough work rather than the first presentation being off the mark due to unforeseen reasons.
- Relationships are key. Good two-way communication will benefit the outcome of any project. Emails are efficient in distributing and exchanging information, but face-to-face meetings are imperative in building relationships. These don’t need to be long… a quick status meeting over a coffee can jump a project forward nicely.
- Keep momentum. Interim presentations are a good way to keep all parties focused on the same goal. Don’t see these as a waste of time (those ‘meetings for meetings sake’ meetings) - they actually save time overall. Don’t be afraid to WhatsApp us a quick question here and there – this is proving to be a very fast and efficient way to keep momentum.
- Trust us. We are the experts. We were probably one of three agencies that were in the running for your project and you hired us for our skills and experience – so let us do our job the way we know best.
- Don’t micro-manage us. Let us present back to you at the time agreed. Trying to manage each step and oversee the process only leads to a poor outcome.
- Give us the time we need. We thrive on deadlines, but rushing us unnecessarily, or cutting the timeline too tight, won’t do your project any good. We want the best outcome for your project as it is a creation of our own that we want to be proud of. No agency aims to produce bad work. Your project may be our next award-winner!
- Provide quality feedback. Give us considered, comprehensive and consolidated feedback as soon as possible so that we can understand and solve your problem.
- Be nice to us. We will be nice to you. If you are unnecessarily rude, overly demanding or shout at us, we won’t feel like being nice to you. We won’t really want to give everything we’ve got to your project. Never underestimate the power of a simple “thank you”.
- Introduce us to your procurement team. This goes back to relationships being key – we can deliver a better job when communication is at the forefront. It is highly unlikely that you will be happy with the final deliverable of your project when we have to hand over artwork to an unknown team without discussion, proper briefing or quality management.
- Introduce us to your finance team. Being able to discuss payment issues directly with a finance team member is preferable. Issues can be resolved quickly and there are no awkward conversations during project meetings.
- Pay us on time. We love what we do and have passion and pride for our work, but we can’t work for free. Having to tip-toe around the fact that we’ve been paid late (or not yet paid at all) is never comfortable. This is a distraction that can get us off to a bad start, or affect the final project outcome.
- And most importantly, Let’s work together! Client and agency need to work together to solve any business problem - this doesn’t have to be an ‘us’ versus ‘you’ approach. Together we can create something mind-blasting!
A little love goes a long way, so as obvious as these may seem, test them out next time you engage.
Written by Clare Flude
A wife, mother and full-time multi-tasker. Post-it note fanatic. Understands the business side of design. Clare is Creative Director of Fludium, a Dubai-based strategic branding agency. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org